Story:    The doctors have failed. Now your sister, the Queen, lies on her deathbed – you are her last hope! Rumor has it that a mystical cure exists in the faraway kingdom of Goldthorne… but no one dares to go there since the last king mysteriously vanished. Do you have the courage to face the unknown and save your sister? Find out as you soar high into a world of floating islands, talking cats, and magical dragons. But beware – sinister forces are watching you from the shadows in this exciting Hidden Object Adventure game. (BigFish Sales Blurb)

Desktop:    Journal, Compass(Map), Menu (Left); Inventory (Centre); Guide, Hint, Cat (Right).  

Options:     Basic, but fine.

Tutorial:    Good quick Tute – very efficient.

Play Modes:    Casual; Normal; Expert.

Map:    Interactive, which the Tute openly suggests you to use, but more than meets the eye.  There are the Maps for each location, but then the Dragon, who acts as your transport from site to site, becomes the World Map so you can travel between countries. This is just one of the surprises.

HOPs:   These are Interactive as you would now expect – Lists, Shapes, and combinations of these – intricate, clever, diverse, engaging, interesting – a whole new level of fun for players.

Puzzles:   There are some really surprising Puzzles here – like the HOPs, these are clever, diverse, quite unusual, innovative, and make you think.  I only Skipped a couple late in the game when I was really tired.

Collections:   30 Silver and 30 Gold Tokens.

Graphics:   Unbelieveable!!!  WOW!!!!  Really superb in so many ways – design: lay-out of terrains and architecture, creatures and characters, costumes, atmosphere and weather – imaginative, colourful, brilliance, a shining jewel in the Graphics Stakes!!  Makes you just want to dive in and keep playing.

Game-play:   I’ve already mentioned that the HOP and Puzzle Game-play is more interactive than normal, and quite unusual which is refreshing.  At no time did I find myself thinking ‘Here we go again’.  And you would think that after a while the HOPs would become more of the same – but they didn’t there was always a twist, a surprise!  the story is really excellent, well embedded into the Game-play, driving the game forwards, with a few sites per location to go Back & Forth between which was also a bonus.  But this doesn’t mean that the game is quickly over – it is quite a long and complex game, yet at no time do you find yourself felling confused.  It has direction and purpose.  A real Quest game.  You are assisted by the Cat, Muir – a Tower Servant, and by the Dragon who is really Prince Harad – the former is amusing, the latter more serious.

Player Participation:   This is constant which is always great.  You are totally involved, except for a couple of automatic actions that your own actions initiate.

Satisfaction Factor:    This is huge.  The pleasure in playing a game that continues to surprise is immeasurable.  Although I have many other great games already on my review list, as soon as I had finished playing late last night, I determined that I would review it first thing this morning.

Frustration Factors:    None that I could detect.  Well the Cursor Arrow makes the Inventory open if you are careless when Backing out of a room, but that is more a player fault.

Extras:    Bonus Game; Media; Cat Room; Strategy Guide; Achievements; Secret Game (which unlocks after the Bonus Game is completed).

Bonus Game:   This is the Cat, Muir’s story about his rescue of the Prediction Mirror, prior to the main Game story.   More of the same Game-play, and a particularly icky huge Rat to outfox.  Quite amusing.

Secret Game:  Using the World Map, this is a Board Game that you play against the Prince and the Cat to defeat the Stone Dragon.  A nice touch, and a bit of fun.

To say I highly recommend this game is an understatement – I shout it from the rooftops!

Jud House 19/06/2014

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About judsartwork

I write reviews of Adventure and Hidden Object games that are Crime, Fantasy, SciFi, Renovation, Travel, Quest and/or Mystery by genre. I have a Masters in Writing (2006) and have been writing novels, both crime and fantasy for many years; plus Haiku, verse, and prose both fictional and literary. I am also an artist of modern, Acrylic, textural and hard edge work, underwater, fantasy, expressionist, and Cosmos paintings. I use mixed media (Acrylic, Watercolour, Pastels) in textural Monoprints, finding surprises to expose within each work. Having both an analytical and creative mind has meant that I have strong powers of observation, and the persistence required to follow computer problems through till I solve them. Of course I am not always successful, but am willing to ask for a little help in order to then unlock the main problem myself. My Troubleshooting Blog, 'Problems and Solutions', was the result of my tenacity.
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